Georgia House votes to end hands-free violator exception


ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) — The Georgia House is moving to eliminate a loophole that allows some people to avoid citations for violating the state’s hands-free cellphone law.

House members voted 119-52 for House Bill 247 on Monday. It says drivers can’t avoid penalties by telling judges they have purchased hands-free devices for their cellphones.

Republican Rep. John Carson of Marietta says the current provisions are intended to excuse people from first-time offense but are unenforceable.

State law lets first-time violators appear before a judge with proof they bought a phone holder or wireless headphone and escape a fine.

Supporters say people can get caught in multiple jurisdictions and escape multiple fines because courts can’t keep track.

Georgia first passed its hands-free law in 2018.

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